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Alexander Yeo

Age 10 // Position Wing // Province Alberta  //  Club St Albert Rugby Football Club

Rugby is my favourite sport. I practice two times a week and play matches on Saturday. My proudest moment was when I made two tackles in under ten seconds. It’s a fun sport because it’s physical. If the other team surrounds us, we need to play as a team. If I get the ball and can run, I will probably score a try. I enjoy practicing passing and kicking.


Mel Squire 

Co-Founder and Director, Iroquois Roots Rugby

As Director of Iroquois Roots Rugby, the sport of rugby means opportunity.  For my own children, rugby has opened so many doors from meeting new friends, having amazing mentors and coaches, scholarships, enhanced fitness and well-being and the pursuit of post-secondary education.  

We hope to be able to create pathways for other Indigenous youth to reap the benefits that playing rugby offers. 


Ghislaine Landry

Age 31 // Position Half Back //  Club Rugby Canada Women's Sevens Team

Rugby has been a guiding force in my life for 16 years. I started playing in grade 9 and have not looked back. When I started playing rugby, I had no idea where it would take me but that has made this journey so much more enjoyable. Through many World Series medals, a World Cup silver medal, an Olympic bronze medal, and all of the struggles and hard days in between, rugby has taught me more about myself than I ever would have imagined. I have learned about confidence and self-esteem, hard work and teamwork, leadership and friendship. I am the person I am today because of this game. To share rugby with as many people as possible and this game grow in Canada is a dream come true.  


Leigh Read

Age 50 // Position Second Row (Lock) //  Province Prince Edwards Island // Club Mudmen RFC

Rugby is a way of life. It builds confidence, friendships and communities whilst having the best of times. Rugby is Gilbert and Gilbert is Rugby. The standard of Rugby at Grass Roots is growing right now, give them the right tools, partner with the right Companies, and future players and coaches will exceed. I work in The Athletics department at UPEI, and I’m part of the coaching Team for men’s and women’s AUS Panthers Rugby, that takes Rugby to all schools across our Province to all ages. I also Coach Rookie Rugby from 4 years of age up to the introduction to contact program age 14, along with the Mudmen Div 1 and Div 2 sides. I have been playing since the age of 8, born in England that was the norm, and at 50 I still play for The Mudmen Oldboys.


Malcolm Lotz

Age 12 // Position Lock or Twelve //  Province British Columbia // Club Capilano Rugby Club

Rugby is fun because it’s fast and explosive.  I like it because it’s played outdoors and you don’t have a lot of gear. It’s easier to play compared to hockey or baseball and practices are never at 6:00am. It’s great to be part of Capilano Rugby Club with its 50-year history. Seeing Harry Jones, who played for my club, represent Canada at the Rugby World 7s was really inspiring. My rugby coaches are young and energetic who make practices fun and motivate me to be my best.  In a game it is such a great feeling to battle through the opposing team, run until you think you will throw up and then score a try. A close second is catching an opponent with a crushing tackle and stopping them from scoring. Also since my Dad and Grandfather grew up in South Africa, I am finally playing a sport that they played and understand.


Dallas Price

In the past 20 years, rugby has given me the chance to see how far I can push my physical body, while equally challenging my mental and emotional strength.  Rugby encourages and rewards strength, but provides an environment where being weak and vulnerable is a chance to learn humility.  Rugby was an outlet that helped me when I struggled with mental health and now, through coaching, I'm able to give those chances to young girls who are also in those situations.  Through the rugby community, I have found a family across different clubs, provinces and countries just through the core values that rugby promotes and our mutual respect for the commitment it takes to play it.  Rugby is hard to play without passion and an overwhelming desire to push yourself to your limits.  I feel this is a great way to live life. 


Ava Ference

Age 14 // Position Scrum Half // Province Alberta // Club Strathcona Druids

Rugby has been a huge part of my life for the past 3 seasons.  Sport has always been a profound part of my life since I could walk.  I’ve done just about everything and never really fell in love with a sport until I started playing rugby in grade 6.  I instantly loved every aspect of the sport, from the contact to the high speed of the game.  With previous experiences in different sports I have never felt the type of sister-hood that I have in rugby.  It doesn’t matter if I am playing up in an older age group or if I’m helping out with younger kids, I’ve always felt that sense of family in our community.  Rugby has made me a much better athlete, person and given me a more positive mindset.  Through hard work, my confidence on the pitch grows and alongside that, so does my confidence off the pitch in everyday life.  I am forever grateful to have found my sport!


Connor Newman

Age 17 // Province Ontario // Club Kingston Panthers RFC & St. Theresa's Titans

Rugby has been part of my life for three years now. When I am on the field, I am able to clear my mind and only focus on the game. Despite the fact that the game is action packed, it is one of the few things that gives me a break from my otherwise busy life. I enjoy the fact that I get to be a part of a team, a family that is not my own. My new coaching staff is amazing, and they give me great advice while playing. My teammates and I are counting on one another and we never want to let anyone down.  I like being active and pushing my body to the limit in every single game.  Before rugby I was never really into any sport, I dabbled in a couple like soccer and volleyball but none that were as demanding physically as rugby. It turns out no matter how stressful the game gets you never stop having fun. “Rugby is a game for hooligans played by gentlemen."


Thomas Morrisey

I have been passionate about rugby ever since I started playing at 5 years old at my local club in Mont-Tremblant, located in the Laurentian mountains of Quebec. Rugby has been, and continues to be, a central part in my family, educational and social life.  With our roots based in Wales, rugby in our family has always been about the community as a whole and the positive impact it has on bringing people together. I have been very fortunate to have been selected to play for school, club, invitational and representative teams throughout Canada, the US and Europe. Rugby has provided me with opportunities to visit new places, experience different cultures, and make friends for life both on and off the field.

Lesley Swan

Age 29 // Position Tight Head Prop //  Province Ontario // Club Mississauga Blues

Most of my world revolves around rugby, it is one of my biggest passions. I have been playing for over 15 years. I play for the Mississauga Blues, I help manage the team and I am the President of our club. When I am not playing or doing stuff for the club, I enjoy watching others play. Rugby not only gives me the opportunity to stay active, but also make friends and socialize as well as gain experience as a board member. Rugby offers a sense of community like no other sport offers. I have also represented Canada while playing internationally for Ontario's women's tackle team MIFA. I look up to any strong female who can thrive in male dominant environments and there are many of those women making waves in the rugby community.

Maria Sawiak 

Age 17 // Position Fly-Half and Centre //  Province Alberta // Club Strathcona Druids

I have been playing sports most my life and love the active lifestyle; being active is a large part of who I am. I started playing rugby when I was 12 years old after I received my blackbelt in taekwondo and wanted another challenge, and I have been in it ever since. The adrenaline I feel on the field has never stopped pumping, nor has my love for the sport. A month ago I tore my MCL which means I have not been able to play; not being able to be an active participant is hard. However, being hurt reminds me how much I love rugby and how important it is to take this time to heal and rehab my injury so I can come back even stronger. During this time, I have been watching my friends (whom I met through rugby) play for Gold and Alberta and despite not being able to play, it is nice knowing that some of my best friends are tearing up the field. I hope to be out there with them shortly!


Connor Byron

Age 20 // Position Centre + Fullback //  Province British Columbia // Club University of British Columbia

Rugby has given me so many life changing opportunities that have shaped me into who I am today. Through rugby, I have been able to travel the globe and open my eyes to a wide array of cultures and lifestyles. Through rugby, I have met people and formed relationships both on and off the field. Rugby has now given me an opportunity to get an education at a high level while playing high level rugby as well.


Meagan Wilson

Rugby for me is my genuine everyday life. If I’m not on the pitch myself, I’m coaching someone else or I’m working out to improve myself. Rugby embodies values that not only make you a better athlete but I believe a better person as well. The camaraderie of the sport is unlike no other and that is why I continue to play. Rugby has given my opportunities for travel, friendship, new experiences, and different chances of education that I don’t think any other sport could’ve provided. I don’t know who or where I’d be if I didn’t start playing rugby. 



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